Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is a transmembrane protein expressed in prostate cancer as well as in the neo-vasculature of nonprostatic solid tumors. Here, we determined the expression pattern of PSMA in the vasculature of oral squamous cell carcinoma. Using a previously validated antibody, PSMA staining distribution and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2) expression status was evaluated in a cohort of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity (n=96) using immunohistochemistry and was correlated with clinicopathological features as well as outcome. Twenty-four (25%) cases showed no detectable PSMA staining, 48 (50%) demonstrated positive immunoreactivity for PSMA in less than 50% of microvessels and 24 (25%) cases showed strong endothelial PSMA expression in more than 50% of tumor-associated microvessels. High endothelial PSMA expression was associated with greatly reduced survival (18.2 vs 77.3 months; P=0.0001) and maintained prognostic significance after adjusting for grade and stage in multivariate analysis (hazard ratio=2.19, P=0.007). Furthermore, we observed a strong association between endothelial PSMA and cancer cell-specific COX2 expression. In conclusion, we provide the first evidence for the prognostic significance of endothelial PSMA expression in oral squamous cell carcinoma and, suggest a potential interaction between arachidonic acid metabolites and endothelial PSMA expression in the tumor neo-vasculature.
- oral squamous cell carcinoma
- prostate-specific membrane antigen
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine